Multivariate assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the Beijiang, a tributary of the Pearl River in Southern China
To estimate the severity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in the upper sediment of the Beijiang River, 42 sediment samples were analyzed for the presence of 16 key PAHs using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The concentrations of PAH in the sediment ranged from 44 to 8,921 ng g−1 dry weight. The four- to six-ring PAHs, contributing >50 % to PAHs in 34 of the 42 sites, were the dominant species. Based on a principal component analysis, combined with multivariate linear regression, it became clear that the most important contributors of PAH were fossil fuel combustion (48 %), diesel emissions plus oil spillage (33 %), and coke combustion (19 %). The surface sediments of Beijiang River were grossly contaminated by PAHs mainly derived from combustion.
KeywordsPAHs Sediments Diagnostic ratio PCA/MLR Source apportionment Beijiang River
Thanks to financial support from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (41101494) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2011QC092).
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